The “You Should Listen To This Artist” series showcases up-and-coming music artists who have piqued the interest of the POP! team, with the goal of providing these talented individuals a promotional platform so more people could know and hear about them. If you’re a bedroom/indie/amateur/budding music artist, send your materials to pop[at]inquirer.net for consideration.
Rune, a rising young Filipino musician who, last year, released her EP titled “Spellbound,” really knows her R&B.
For someone who’s still just three tracks in into her discography, this Filipino singer-songwriter-producer is showing us all that there is a place in the Philippine music scene for female-produced, smooth, soulful, original R&B. Rune’s music combines sensual rhythms from the late 1990s and early 2000s R&B (an almost lost art, to be honest), with a touch of modern pop–listen to all three tracks and you can just about hear the artists who have inspired and influenced her in her music-making: You can hear Janet Jackson and Aaliyah in “Two Week’s Notice”, and you can hear bits and pieces of Tamia and Ariana Grande in “All Mine” and “On Your Mind.” You can sense the conviction in her lyrics–some explicit—a sort of hat tip to the artists who have inspired her thought-process in songwriting, such as SZA, Hiatus Kaiyote, Summer Walker, Daniel Caesar, Erykah Badu, and Amy Winehouse.
These three tracks may just be the tip of the iceberg in what Rune can whip up, musically. Funnily enough, it was a chance encounter on Reddit (of all places lmao) that brought POP! to her music–we were casually tracking references for an article we were doing back in December of 2022 when we came across her post, in which she was personally promoting her track under the r/Philippines subreddit. It’s just so quaint and perhaps representing of her resolve to get her music out for the world to hear. Although Rune went on hiatus as a musician during the middle of the pandemic, her dream of being a musician remained in her heart. Now she’s slowly getting back into the groove, putting her music out on multiple digital platforms and unabashedly inviting people to listen to what she has to offer. For Rune, being able to make her own music available on all streaming platforms is a feat in itself. “I know that these days, it’s easy for anyone with access to technology and the internet to have their songs heard by other people, but being able to see my name on Spotify next to my favorite bands and artists has given me such a feeling of accomplishment,” she stated.
“Knowing that I have listeners from around the world, and hearing from both loved ones and strangers about how they appreciate my music has been nothing short of amazing,” she added.
“All Mine” was the first ever song that Rune wrote for her “Spellbound” EP. Although she didn’t anticipate the kind of reception it would generate, she realized that the track’s beat, melody, and lyrics are quite catchy and easy to sing along to–with the piano hammering in the background largely giving it its 90s R&B vibe.
“Two Weeks’ Notice” is a nice slow-jam that will burrow its way inside your ears thanks to its catchy hook (also a POP! Team favorite, so there’s that), but behind the sensual melody, listeners are whisked inside the story of someone breaking up with a partner who’s already taken, and the heartaches that come with being a third party and ending it all. Lyrically and musically, “Two Weeks’ Notice” is also Rune’s personal favorite among her songs. The artist shares that she and her producer-instrumentalist, who happens to be her husband, tried their best to make sure that the track sounded great. And it does.
“On Your Mind” masterfully blends 90s-early 00s R&B with lo-fi, the dreamy old school synth sound working well with the lo-fi beats and guitar riffs, so much so that they all elevate Rune’s vocal runs throughout the track.
Born Gabrielle Le Roy, Rune shared that music has always been a huge part of her life. As a child, she involved herself in every choir or musical activity there was. Before she started writing songs, she joined a rock-reggae band and even attempted to open an indie label of her own. But now she’s putting all those experiences to the test by creating her own music and putting her own brand and flavor to it. But more than being successful as a music artist, Rune aspires to really make a difference as a songwriter, to specifically be known for the lyrics she writes. “A dream of mine is to have a crowd sing my lyrics back to me while I’m singing for them. I strive to write lyrics that pierce my listeners’ hearts while helping them heal from whatever they’re going through,” she said. Well, it does show that Rune produces her songs in a way that they can become a way for her listeners to reflect on difficult moments in life.
The 28-year-old artist shared a very unique way of songwriting; she usually lights incense before writing. Her lyrics start in the form of poetry. Then, she attempts to turn them into songs by putting a melody to her poetry. “My process is very touch and go; inspiration comes from anywhere and enters my mind through some sort of mystical synapse — then it’s just a matter of noting the ideas down so they don’t disappear forever into the ether,” she added.
For Rune, success means being able to share her music with a wider audience. “I want to release a full album someday, and eventually perform at a festival every once in a while.” But above all, she wants to be successful enough to leave a good legacy in the field of music for her children.
As of this writing, Rune finds herself a rising and ‘evolving’ musician who continuously creates music. “I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m manifesting a life full of wonderful experiences for my soul to grow.”
Hopefully in the coming months, we get to hear more tracks for her–something that should excite hardcore R&B fans.
Listen to Rune’s discography here.
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